There is always work to be done restoring urban forest and maintaining trails. Notice of work parties under the leadership of forest stewards will be posted here periodically.
MARICHI BRANCH-OUT INITIATIVE
On a rainy Saturday in October 2022, a work party of about 15 volunteers planted more than 100 plants in Puget Park, an event blessed by a Tibetan chant.
The Marici Fellowship is based out of the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. According to Teresa Lamb of the fellowship, in Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist sites all over the world sacred buildings called stupas or chortens are built as a symbol of the mind of the Buddha although there are many meanings. Many prayers and blessings exist in these locations. H.E. Avikrita Vajra Sakya, the Head lama, wanted to make it so these sacred, blessed places exist not only in structures far away but in the form of a living monument—such as a tree.
The Venerable Migmar Tsering, Teresa Lamb, and The Venerable Tashi Nyima in the foreground; the Venerable Khenpo Jampa in the background.
With this in mind, he created the Marici Branch-out Intiative, a volunteer tree planting program with a special prayer ceremony to be done during each of the events. “We believe this ceremony creates a protected space for the trees and a sense of peacefulness in the areas and communities where the planting takes place.”
Following the prayer ceremony, the volunteers picked up shovels and began planting in the rain, under the leadership of forest stewards Christine Clark and Noah Starbuck, the latter a member of the Marici Fellowship.
Forest steward Christine Clark, the Venerable Migmar Tsering and the Venerable Tashi Nyima pause in planting.
PUGET PARK WORK
Recent work under the leadership of Christine and Matthew Clark has focused on completing remaining segments of a collaborative neighborhood trail project started in 2016 (laying gravel and repair), as well as planting hundreds of native plants within Puget Park.
MOVING A NURSE LOG
The crew of GardenCycles moves a cedar nurse log to a wet area near the Duwamish Longhouse where it can support native growth. Click here to watch a time-lapse video by Paul Parker.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY SIDEWALK
An unusual project to uncover the sidewalk on the north side of Highland Park Way has created a new connection between the end of a hike through the greenbelt to Highland Park Way and the intersection with West Marginal Way. See this short video about the project.
NATURE CONSORTIUM/Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
Since 2003, the Nature Consortium’s Urban Forest Restoration Program has been conducting forest restoration in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Along with volunteers and community groups they have been removing invasive, planting natives, and controlling erosion. There are three Nature Consortium restoration sites in the greenbelt at Pigeon Point Park, north of Riverview Playfield, and north of the Seattle Chinese garden. Nature Consortium is now part of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association; check out that website to sign up to volunteer.
PIGEON POINT PARK
Pigeon Point is located on the furthermost northern end of the greenbelt, overlooking Elliot Bay and the mouth of the Duwamish River. Over the past 10 years, Nature Consortium has brought volunteers and community members together to help restore habitat by removing invasive weeds, amending soil, addressing erosion issues, and planting new native trees and shrubs.
Puget Park is just south of Pigeon Point Park. The Seattle Parks Department along with community volunteers have been working on improving the trail. They have been removing invasives, planting natives, regrading and resurfacing the trail. If you haven’t been to Puget Park lately, go check out the progress being made or at least check out this before and after photo: https://twitter.com/SeattleParks/status/843259499175723008
Westcrest Park is located on the furthermost southern end of the greenbelt. DIRT Corps is revitalizing the southwest portion of Westcrest Park. The first step is to remove invasive species followed by planting events. The volunteer restoration events will include a brief weed ID education class to learn about the different types of invasive weeds, why they are harmful, and how to get rid of them. Learn how to join an upcoming Dirt Corp volunteer restoration event here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theDIRTcorps/events/
GREENBELT THINNING GAP ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
The Green Seattle Partnership conducted a restoration project on roughly 40 acres in West Duwamish Greenbelt on the hillside between South Seattle College and West Marginal Way. Professional crews thinned red alder and big leaf maple to create small gaps in the canopy to allow more light to the forest understory where young conifers await favorable light conditions. The cut down timber was left in place as nurse logs or snags, and habitat piles were built with the slash material. Weeding and major replanting of tree seedlings was conducted over the 24 thinned acres as well as on an additional adjacent 16 acres. With more light and planting of 10,000 native tree/shrub seedlings, this effort will nudge this forest on a healthy and resilient path. The Applied Ecology crew will continue invasive removal and maintenance weeding over 100 acres of the greenbelt as well as monitoring seedling survival.
If you are walking through this area, be mindful on windy days. With less density, trees are not buffered from the high winds. Learn more about this project at: http://www.greenseattle.org/letting-light-shine/.